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Diamonds - Gold - Jewelry Guide


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DIAMONDS Your Guide to Buying

Diamonds - Gold - Jewelry Guide

Diamonds Buying Guide
Diamond Rings
What is moissanite?
How to read a diamond certificate
Gold coins, jewelry
American Gold Eagle Coin
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coin
Gold Krugerrand Coin
Silver Coins
International Silver Bullion Coins


What is Moissanite

What do I need to know when shopping for jewelry

Quality jewelry is made with gold, platinum, silver and gemstones such as diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearls as well as lab-created gems. Lesser quality jewelry will be made with metal alloys such as brass, tin, zinc, copper and gemstones which are more abundant than the precious gemstones above. Jewelry can be expensive if quality materials are used or not so expensive if lesser materials are used. Then there are the fake jewelry items often offered for sale but are essentially worthless. The best way to buy jewelry is to buy from a trusted source.


Pure gold is so soft it is rarely used alone in jewelry. Jewelers deal with various gold alloys, collectively called karat gold. Karat (K) tells the number of parts, by weight, of gold in 24 parts of alloy. The higher the percentage of pure gold, the higher the karat. Pure gold is 24K. 18K is 18 parts fine gold and 6 parts metal; 14K is 14 parts fine gold and 10 parts metal; and 10K is 10 parts fine gold and 14 parts other metal. Anything less than 10K is not considered gold.


Gold has the longest and most storied history of all precious metals. It is soft enough to be worked into interesting shapes, and its warm color and scarcity gave it great value in early civilizations. It has been the foundation of many monetary systems, and remains important to our economy even today.

As jewelry, it was gold's softness and natural beauty that made it appealing, in addition to the fact that it doesn't corrode or tarnish. It is so soft, in fact, that pure gold is rarely used in jewelry. It is mixed with another metal, usually copper or silver, to make a stronger gold alloy, or mixture of metals. The quantity of gold in a given alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as K or KT). Pure gold is 24K; 18K gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. In other words, each karat is equal to roughly 4.17% of the total of the alloy.

As the karat weight drops, the metal becomes more durable but less yellow. Sometimes gold that is a lower karat weight will be plated in high-karat gold to enhance the color. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you pay a fair price. Also keep in mind that gold plating will wear off with time and your jewelry may need to be re-plated.

When buying gold jewelry, look for a stamp with a karat mark, the manufacturer's registered trademark and the country of origin.


White gold has the same properties as yellow gold, but it has been mixed with different metals to give it a white color. Instead of the copper and silver used in yellow gold, white gold contains such metals as nickel, zinc, or even platinum. However, white gold should not be confused with platinum, which is much rarer than gold and hence more valuable.

The karat weight system used in white gold is the same as that used in yellow gold (see the "Gold" section on this page). 18K yellow gold and 18K white gold contain the same proportion of gold; only the remaining 25% of the alloy is different. Sometimes, white gold is plated with an even whiter metal, such as rhodium (a very rare member of the platinum family), to enhance its appearance.

White gold was developed to give a different look to jewelry. The white color is an excellent setting for very white diamonds, and when used side by side with yellow gold, it creates a striking effect. Jewelry using both white and yellow gold is called "two-tone."


Gold Tone is jewelry that is electro-plated with gold and has no measurable karat weight, oris gold colored. Provides an expensive look with a fraction of the cost of real gold.


The most precious metal commonly found in jewelry is the silvery-white metal platinum. It is a relative newcomer to jewelry, having become popular in the past 200 years or so. Like gold, it is rare and heavy, but it is more durable than gold and is sold in purer form. It is sometimes mixed with a little bit of iridium and ruthenium, which are similar to platinum but much rarer, for added strength. Platinum is not sold according to karat weights. It is stamped PT or plat in the United States to indicate that it is platinum.

Because of its purity, platinum is excellent for people who are allergic to other metals. Its light color also makes it popular. Like white gold, it makes very white diamonds appear bright.

Platinum has enjoyed an enormous resurgence in popularity in recent years. It has a very understated and old-fashioned look that has come back into style, leading more jewelry designers to work with this metal.


The standard for sterling silver has remained unchanged since 1300 when Edward I of England established an early trade practice rule for silversmiths, decreeing that sterling must consist of 92.5 percent pure silver alloyed with 7.6 percent copper. The term "sterling" refers to the composition of the metal, never to the weight of a finished item.

Silver is much more plentiful than gold; however, silver tends to tarnish, making it less popular in some forms of jewelry. Like gold, silver is too soft for use in its pure state and must be combined with other metals for durability. Jewelry made of silver parts and gold parts must carry dual designations such as "Sterling and 10K."


Silver Plate is electro-plated silver over a base metal and has no measurable karat weight. Provides an expensive look with a fraction of the cost of sterling silver.


Silver Select is Art Carved’s invention (patent pending). It is more precious than Sterling Silver, and harder than many tarnish-resistant metals. Like Sterling Silver, it has a brilliant white shine but has added Platinum that makes it stronger.


Silver Tone is jewelry that is electro-plated with silver and has no measurable karat weight, or is silver colored. Provides an expensive look with a fraction of the cost of sterling silver or white gold.


Brass is a mixture, or alloy, of the base metals copper and zinc. Regular brass is yellow-gold in color, and "red brass" (which contains a larger amount of copper) is slightly more reddish in color. In comparison with precious metals (like sterling silver and gold-fill), brass is very affordable. Among other base metals, it is less pricey than nickel silver and slightly more expensive than copper. Certain treatments can add value, and therefore cost, to brass jewelry. Brass can be mistaken for gold to the untrained eye. Brass jewelry is much less costly than gold jewelry but brass is not as substantial or long lasting. Gold generally weighs twice as much as brass. Over time brass will react with what it comes into contact with while gold will not. Gold will remain in its fine condition while brass will tarnish or dull. This is why brass jewelry costs much less than gold jewelry even though the look is similar. 


Copper is a bright shiny reddish-gold metal that is soft and easily malleable. Copper has been recorded as being used as far back as 10,000 years ago in many different artifacts, long before gold was used. Ancient civilizations used copper as decorative body wear & jewelry, as parts of weapons, plumbing, cookware, and as mirrors. Today, copper is still widely used and desiredfor its color and versatility.


Pewter has had many uses throughout history. Since the Middle Ages pewter hasbeen used for dishes, utensils and servingware, as well as decorative items such as sculptures, candlesticks, ornaments and jewelry. Pewter is a soft metal and easily malleable by hand tools for carving, engraving, or presses which makes it an excellent choice for detailed jewelry or keepsake pieces. Like sterling silver, pewter is shiny and bright but does needs regular cleaning to maintain its luster.


The name of this metal is Swedish and Danish “tung sten” meaning “heavy metal”.Tungsten is very heavy with a steel gray to tin-white color and a lustrous finish.This metal has the highest melting point, and the most tensile strength of all metals.Due to the hardness of this metal, the shine is not apt to fade as with other metals that must be polished. Tungsten also has natural hypoallergenic properties that make it perfect for use in jewelry making.


A diamond certificate is a report that attests to the authenticity of a diamond. It is a reliable and accurate statement of the diamond’s identity and grade based on an internationally recognized system.

The grade or quality of the diamond is based on carat weight, color, clarity and cut. These are analyzed by several gemologists who use their experience in combination with state-of-the-art equipment to produce an accurate description of the characteristics of the diamond.


Most Diamonds apear colorless but actually have slight tones of yellow or brown. The closer the stone comes to colorless, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are graded on a color scale ranging from D(colorless) to Z(heavily tinted).


It is very common for diamonds to be formed with slight imperfections. These are known as "inclusions" and can come in many forms, including tiny white points, dark dots, or feathery cracks. The fewer inclusions, the more the stone is worth. A diamond's clarity ranking is determined by the number, size, type and placement of the inclusions.


Carat is the term used to describe the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds. Although the definition of a carat has changed over time, since 1913 the international standard has been 200 milligrams, or 1/5 of a gram. Often, jewelers describe carats in 1/4 increments.

In jewelry pieces with more than one diamond, the carats may be described in terms of total carat weight (TW). This is the combined total weight of all the stones in the piece.



Cultured pearls are sold by diameter, measured in millimeters. In general, larger cultured pearls are rarer and more costly. Price rises significantly with the size of a pearl.


A pearl is formed when an irritant, such as sand or a parasite, becomes lodged in the shell of an oyster. The oyster deposits layers of a semi-translucent crystalline material called "nacre" around the intruder, where it builds up in layers like the rings of a tree. This process of building up can continue for years, resulting in a natural cultured pearl.

Cultured pearls have replaced the natural variety as a result of cultured pearl farms that scientifically control the production. The process begins with a mother-of-pearl bead that is inserted in the living tissue of the mollusk, which in turn coats the bead with nacre. A cultured pearl is produced in one to three years.

Freshwater Cultured Pearls are cultivated in a freshwater mollusk from a lake, river or pond.



Quartz: Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement and a battery for power. They require no winding.

Kinetic Quartz: Kinetic quartz is exclusive technology to Seiko. It is a quartz watch without a battery. The Kinetic quartz generates electrical energy to power itself from the natural movement of the wearer's arm and wrist. It stores the energy in a capacitor. The reserve energy lasts 3 to 14 days in a motionless watch.

Solar Quartz: Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement. Any light source is absorbed through the crystal and dial. A solar cell converts the light into energy to power the watch.


From the time gemstones were discovered, they were believed to have mystical powers and attributes that could be passed to the wearer. The red of ruby was fiery and passionate; cool blue sapphire was calm and composed. About 2,000 years ago, writers began pairing each of the stones and their attributes with the months of the year and the signs of the Zodiac, and with time, the mythology of birthstones evolved. People were expected to share the attributes of the stone related to their sign of the Zodiac or month of birth.

January: Simulated Garnet
February: Simulated Amethyst
March: Simulated Aquamarine
April: Simulated White Spinel
May: Simulated Emerald
June: Simulated Alexandrite
July: Simulated Ruby
August: Simulated Peridot
September: Simulated Blue Sapphire
October: Simulated Rose Zircon
November: Simulated Topaz
December: Simulated Blue Zircon


Agate is a semi-precious gemstone which is classified as a banded chalcedony or micro-crystalline quartz. The individual bands or layers give this gemstone its uniqueness and character.

The layered agate material that is used in producing agate cameo gem carvings is usually cut from agates with even parallel layers, a lighter layer above a darker one. The agate used in today’s cameos is naturally multiple shades of gray in color, ranging from a milky white translucent to dark gray. The lower and softer layer is dyed to produce the highly desirable blue chalcedony color; while the lighter colored upper layer which is harder does not accept dying and remains white or milky in appearance.

Only two percent of all agate material mined is of a quality suitable for detailed cameo cutting. It is important to note that of this small percentage an even smaller percentage can be dyed blue making the enclosed cameos precious and rare.

The exquisite motifs and silhouettes featured in our cameo offering have been carved relief style, employing the use of a highly sophisticated ultrasonic etching process and elegantly framed in karat gold.


Discovered in Russia in the early 1800s, alexandrite is named for Tsar Alexander II and was the national gemstone of tsarist Russia. With an ability to change its color from green to red depending on the light source, alexandrite is a very unique and beautiful gemstone. A Mohs' hardness rating of 8.5 makes alexandrite a very durable and trouble-free gemstone.


Amethyst was a valuable gem until the discovery of large deposits in South America in the late 1800s; Brazil is the primary exporter to this day, although it is common in many countries. Still, its deep and attractive color makes it extremely popular. Banding - darker and lighter zones of color - is quite common. A good amethyst will be very clear, and the deeper the color, the better. The most common enhancements are heat and irradiation. Try not to expose an amethyst to excessive amounts of bright sunlight, as this can fade its color.

Perhaps the most unusual magical power ascribed to the amethyst is its ability to prevent drunkenness. It also is supposed to bring peace of mind to the wearer, and if properly carved, prevent fatal poisoning. In some legends, it represented piety and dignity.

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.


Although aquamarine comes in many colors, the most prized is a rich, clear, watery blue. Fairly large and clear aquamarines with good color are among the more valuable semi-precious gems. They are often given step cuts, also known as "emerald" cuts, much like aquamarine's mineral sister, emerald. Good clarity is important in these stones, especially lighter ones where flaws will be more visible. Brazil is the primary source of aquamarine, although it is mined in other places as well.

Aquamarine has long been a positive stone according to legend, bringing with it health, hopefulness and youth. It was traditionally a favorite of sailors, and is said to be a good choice for anyone who loves the sea. It could also bring love and affection if worn properly. Its supernatural powers were remarkable; legend has it that a person with an aquamarine in his or her mouth could summon the devil and get questions answered.

Aquamarine is March's birthstone.


Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz color is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colors has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewelry today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue color is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.

Topaz was believed to have incredible medicinal powers in the Middle Ages, even against the plague. For a healthy individual, it brought about a pleasant disposition and patience and was a symbol of fidelity and love.


Genuine sapphires, including Ceylon sapphires are part of the Corundum gem family and are second only to diamonds in hardness. This strength makes them an excellent choice of jewelry because of their durability.

Ceylon sapphires are mined primarily in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). The sapphires mined in Sri Lanka are known for the unique color they produce. Because Ceylon sapphires occur naturally, the color of the stone varies.

Colors range from very pale blue to the most vibrant, almost electric blue hue. Our collection of genuine Ceylon sapphires has been chosen from the middle of the color spectrum, capturing the heart of the color in its lustrous, soft blue color, with just a hint of lavender. This collection has been designed exclusively for Zales.

Often, sapphires used in jewelry are heat-treated or given chemical diffusion to enhance their color, these enhancements are permanent.

Sapphire is the birthstone of September.


Citrine is a clear yellow form of quartz and is often confused with yellow topaz; citrine, however, is more abundant. Because of its abundance, there are plenty of fairly large, clear stones available for jewelry. Clarity and a rich yellow color are keys to look for in a citrine. It has some of the same characteristics as amethyst, such as alternating bands of lighter and darker color, but these bands are harder to see in citrine. Citrine often comes from Brazil.

Citrine is a cheerful gem. Its powers are said to include making its wearer lighthearted, bringing cheerfulness in tough times and offering hope. It was also believed to help relax people and expel impurities from the body. People who wore citrine could expect to look healthy and feel happy.

Citrine is the birthstone for November.


Crystal is created using a combination of silica (quartz sand) and natural minerals. To avoid stress and inclusions, the glass is cooled slowly.


Every diamond is different, incorporating a complex constellation of factors that determine the rarity of each stone. Although gemologists train for years to master the art and science of diamond appraisal, with a little basic instruction, anyone can learn how to read an appraisal and compare the grades of different stones.

Each diamond is as unique as the person who owns it. Just as a diamond reflects the color of the light it bears, it should also reflect the personality of the individual who wears it. Here lies the art of selecting a diamond, for yourself or as a gift.

Truly flawless diamonds are very rare, and very expensive, so you will seldom face the task of selecting a perfect diamond. It is a fairly simple matter to find beautiful diamonds with no flaws visible to the naked eye and buy them at reasonable prices.

Diamonds are graded using a system that judges the stone on its color, clarity, cut and carat weight - commonly known as the "four C's." Diamonds of uncommonly high quality and size are often sold as "certified diamonds" and come with a certificate that proves the stone's value. Even non-certified diamonds, however, should be evaluated using the four C's to help determine cost.

In this section, you will learn what each of the C's means and how it affects the value of the diamond. Although it takes a trained eye to actually see the qualities described here, knowing what they mean can help you make a good choice in selecting your diamond.


Emerald is one of the most valuable gems on the market. The brilliant green of a fine emerald is unmatched by any other stone, and the extreme rarity of top-quality emeralds - the most prized emeralds come from just a handful of mines in Columbia - make it fairly costly. However, there are supplies of emeralds coming out of other mines.

Almost all emeralds have inclusions in them; the fewer these impurities, the rarer and costlier the stone. Because of these inclusions, emeralds can be brittle, so protect your emeralds from hard contact when you wear them. Ultrasonic cleaners, which use vibrations to remove dirt and buildup, can be dangerous to heavily included emeralds. Natural emeralds also tend to have thin scratches on the surface. A layer of wax or oil is usually applied to smooth out their appearance and enhance their color. This layer may have to be replaced professionally every few years.

It was believed to sharpen wits, bring wealth, foretell the future, tell whether a lover was lying and cure all types of evil and illness.

Emerald is the birthstone of May.


While garnet is often viewed as a ruby substitute, it has its own unique qualities that can be appreciated on their own. It comes in a variety of colors, including many shades of red, from very pale to brick to a red-black. It comes in larger sizes, usually has good clarity and has a respectable hardness that allows it to wear well.

Like many red stones, garnet was once believed to stop bleeding. It was a symbol of loyalty and energy, promoted sincerity, and was said to have illuminative powers, both physically and spiritually. Garnet was also said to alleviate anger, promote tranquility and offer protection in health and travel.

Garnet is the birthstone of January.


The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. Iolite is sometimes known as "water sapphire" because of its light violet blue color, but other iolite gemstones may range from clear to honey yellow.

The ability of iolite to exhibit different colors depending on how it is cut is what led Viking explorers to use it for navigation as a polarizing lens to look directly at the sun.


Originally prized for its toughness and used in tools and weapons by prehistoric man, jade has a varied history. This gem has been known as the "royal gem" in China for 5000 years, and it was once valued more than gold by the Mayans and Aztecs. The name "jade" is derived from the Spanish "piedra de ijada" or loin-stone where it was thought to have medicinal powers to heal kidney ailments.

Jadeite and nephrite are two different minerals that are both considered genuine jade. Nephrite is the more common of the two and may range in color from dark green to grey-green. In some instances it can also be white, reddish or yellowish. Jadeite, which is rarer, is usually green but also includes white, pink, red, violet, black and brown hues. It's normal for jade to contain streaks and other blemishes. These are not necessarily considered flaws, and in fact some of the patterns created are considered to add value to a piece.


Quartz is one of the most versatile gemstones on earth. Many people do not know that some of the most popular gems such as Citrine, Amethyst, Onyx and Chalcedony are varieties of quartz.

Quartz has a long history in the gem and jewelry world. The word “Quartz” comes from the Greek word krustallos, meaning ice, because it was believed that quartz was ice formed by the gods. Throughout history varieties of quartz have been used in place of the more expensive gems like yellow sapphire, yellow diamond, and even jade.

Light citrus shaded quartz, called lemon quartz is a very sunny and bright stone. It is very fashionable and coordinates well with pastel colors and stones such as blue topaz and peridot.

Since most quartz has been heated to enhance its color, the stones should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat.


Mother of pearl is the iridescent internal layer of mollusk shells and is composed of the same material as pearls. Though technically not a gemstone, mother of pearl is used in all types of jewelry from mother of pearl watch faces to mother of pearl fashion jewelry.


Mystic Fire Topaz is a colorless topaz that is enhanced with a patented Azotic Coating producing a permanent and stable blue-green appearance with a rainbow of color accents. The Mystic Fire Topaz is similar to the rainbow topaz but is enhanced in a completely different manner. Mystic Fire Topaz is not found in nature.


Onyx is part of the chalcedony family of colored quartz, which includes agate, cornelian and jasper. The striking black and crisp lines of onyx makes it especially popular for jewelry. Because the lines can form in many different ways, each piece of onyx has a unique appearance. Onyx is also popular for cameos - when an image is carved into onyx, the color of the next band shows through. Onyx is opaque, meaning no light shines through it. Therefore, it is usually cut into a smooth, rounded, polished dome called a cabochon.

Onyx has a variety of myths associated with it. On one hand, it was supposed to drive away evil and high tempers. On the other, it was said to cool the passions of love and promote independence between lovers - which can be good or bad, depending on one's point of view. Some people even believed it was a symbol of discord, a belief probably suggested by the sharply divided lines in the stone.


Opal is made of the same ingredients as quartz, except it contains a little water and has not been compressed into crystals. As a result, it is softer than quartz and has to be treated a little more carefully to avoid damage. The shifting colors seen in opal, called "fire," are the result of microscopic spherical structures within the stone which reflect different wavelengths of light depending on their spacing, creating the colorful shimmering effect. There is no other gemstone that looks remotely like it. It comes in both black and white varieties, with black being the most rare. Australia is the principal source of opal today. Like other non-transparent stones, it is usually cut into a smooth, rounded, polished dome called a cabochon.

Some legends say that opal is good for the eyes, both improving vision and warding off eye troubles. It also has a reputation for sharpening the mind and the emotions. Opal is a symbol of fidelity, but it came with a price, since it would bring trouble to someone who was unfaithful.

Opal is October's birthstone.


Peridot is an ancient stone, mined at least as long ago as the ancient Greeks. Peridot is also often called chrysolite or olivine, which is the proper name for the mineral. Its color is its most important quality, and can range from yellow green to a striking chartreuse. (The chrysolite name, in fact, often refers to peridot that is more yellow than green.) The stones have good clarity and are appropriate for faceted cuts since light sparkles through them. They are relatively soft and should be protected from abuse.

Peridot offered protection from depression and deception in Roman times, was used for inspiration and eloquence in the Middle Ages, and was also used to cure liver disease and promote friendship. In general, it was believed to ensure good thoughts in the mind of the wearer.

Peridot is the birthstone of August.


Derived from the Greek words rhodon and lithos meaning "rose stone", rhodolite is a type of garnet that varies in color from red-violet to a rich pink-red.


Along with the emerald and sapphire, ruby is one of the most prized colored gem available. The main quality of the ruby is its bright red color. The best color usually comes from Burma and is very costly; stones from Thailand are darker but clearer and much more common. Only red stones are called rubies. If the color is too light to be called red, it is a pink sapphire.

Corundum, the main material of ruby, is the second-hardest material known after diamond. Inclusions and flaws are fairly common, and many rubies are treated to enhance their color. In general, one should look for a bright red stone with as few inclusions as possible. Synthetic rubies offer good color, clarity and size, and are more affordable.

Rubies were the most valuable gems in ancient Southeast Asia, where they are found. A fine ruby had all sorts of magical powers. Its color was thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone - or, in some legends, a piece of the planet Mars - and it allowed its owner to live in safety, even in the midst of enemies. It was believed to bring its owner all kinds of protection and to stop bleeding. In Burma, it could make one invincible - as long as it was embedded in the skin. In more modern times, rubies became the symbol of love and passion.

Ruby is July's birthstone.


Any color of corundum except red is called "sapphire," although cornflower blue is the most popular and sought-after sapphire color. Sapphire comes from the same places and in the same qualities as its sister stone, ruby, with the best color coming from Kashmir and Burma. The name "sapphire" alone refers to the blue variety. All other colors have the color name added to the stone, as in "orange sapphire," "pink sapphire" etc.

Sapphire often has some inclusions, but clarity is still quite good. Its base material, corundum, is the second hardest in existence and so wears very well. Often, the sapphires used in jewelry are heat-treated or given chemical diffusion to enhance their color; these enhancements are permanent. Like rubies and emeralds, there are good synthetics available for people who like the color but not the cost.

Sapphire is said to be a mind-opening gem. It is supposed to relax the wearer and clarify thought, as well as attract "divine favor." On a personal level, it prevents envy and fraud, and brings truth and good health. It also was said to be a powerful antidote for poison.

Sapphire is the birthstone of September.


While zoisite has been known for some time, gem-quality zoisite wasn't found until 1967, when a deposit was uncovered in Tanzania. This is still the only source for tanzanite, one of the most recent additions to the gem world. It gained almost immediate popularity both for its scarcity and its rich, blue-violet color. It is often heat-treated to bring out a uniform color. While a prized stone, caution should be used when it is worn in rings, since it is fairly soft and can be scratched or chipped. Although it usually has good clarity, tanzanite can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, so other cleaning methods are recommended.

Needless to say, as a recently discovered stone, tanzanite has no ancient legends associated with it.


The unique appearance of tiger's eye is caused by fibrous inclusions of crocidolite that have been replaced by silica. Light is refracted off of these inclusions giving tiger's eye its chatoyancy (changeable luster).


Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz color is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colors has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewelry today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue color is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.

Topaz was believed to have incredible medicinal powers in the Middle Ages, even against the plague. For a healthy individual, it brought about a pleasant disposition and patience and was a symbol of fidelity and love.

Blue topaz is December's birthstone.


The name tourmaline derives from the Singhalese word "turamali" meaning gemstone. Known as the "Rainbow Gemstone", tourmaline comes in every color of the rainbow and most tourmaline gemstones are multi-colored. Gem cutters focus on bringing out the deepest color when cutting tourmaline. Still, when viewed from different angles a tourmaline may exhibit several different colors.

Tourmaline is reputed to have a powerful positive influence on love and friendship. With a Mohs' hardness rating of 7 to 7.5, tourmaline is a very durable and easy to maintain gemstone perfect for everyday wear.


Titanium is versatile, lightweight and strong, with a silvery-white metallic color. This metal is as strong as steel but is 45% lighter in weight, and is similar to platinum in it’s resistance to tarnishing. This metal has many uses ranging from armor plating, spacecraft and aircraft parts, to jewelry design. Titanium’s strength, durability, and lustrous beauty make it an ideal choice for jewelry, especially for rings and bracelets that are subject to daily wear.


Stainless Steel is a metal with many uses. Most commonly, stainless steel is seen in kitchenware (cookware and cutlery), appliances, hardware, art-deco sculptures and architecture, and also watches and jewelry. Stainless steel is a silvery-white color with a mirror finish that retains its shine and color very well and resists tarnishing. The most popular uses for stainless steelin jewelry are watches, bracelets, rings, earring posts and body jewelry since it is easy to clean, keeps a mirror shine and is strong enough for daily wear.


Chrome Plate is electro-plated chrome over a base metal.


Siladium is similar to Stainless Steel. It polishes to a bright white luster,and is strong and durable.